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Greyhounds struggle in homestand finale (video)

'It was a sloppy hockey game' - Soo Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister
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The disappointment was evident right away.

The Soo Greyhounds wrapped up a three-game homestand Sunday afternoon with a 5-4 overtime loss against the Ottawa 67’s at the Essar Centre in a game that the visitors deserved.

“It was a sloppy hockey game,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister. “We had some guys that competed but I thought we had a lot of guys that were passengers. Usually, when that happens, it can go one way, similar to what happened against Saginaw (on Wednesday) where we got lucky and scored a couple extra goals and separate or it can become tight and at the end of the day, you lose a hockey game you probably should have lost because you didn’t play well.”

Kody Clark scored his second goal of the game at 3:08 of the extra frame, beating Greyhounds goaltender Connor Hicks high from the left faceoff circle to cap off a stretch of three unanswered goals for the 67’s in the game. 

Clark finished the day with two goals and an assist for Ottawa.

“Early in the season, Kody put a lot of pressure on himself and now he’s focusing more on just playing hockey and playing the right way,” said Ottawa Coach Andre Tourigny. “He played a hell of a game. He laid it on the line on every shift on both sides of the puck and got two big goals.”

Mac Hollowell had a goal and two assists for the Greyhounds while Jack Kopacka had a goal and an assist. Tim Gettinger and Boris Katchouk also scored for the home side.

Connor Hicks got the start for the Greyhounds and made 31 saves in the contest.

“We didn’t make things easy for him,” Bannister said. “He had to make some difficult saves for us.”

“(The loss) had nothing to do with him,” Bannister added. “It’s never an easy spot to come in as a backup goalie. Overall, he gave us an opportunity to win that hockey game. The guys didn’t play very well in front of him.”

Sam Bitten and Mitchell Hoelscher had a goal and an assist each for Ottawa. Travis Barron also scored for the 67’s/

“Our work ethic and compete level was outstanding,” Tourigny said. “We talk a lot about closing the game and playing a tighter game and I’m really happy with the effort of our guys. After the game, I walked into the room and the players were just sitting in their stalls and not moving. I told them, ‘that’s how it looks to win.’”

Overage netminder Olivier Tremblay got the start for Ottawa but was pulled after surrendering four goals on 13 shots. Olivier Lafreniere came in and stopped all 20 shots he faced the rest of the way.

The Greyhounds record falls to 7-2-1-0 with the loss while Ottawa rebounded from a lopsided loss on Friday night in Sudbury and comes out of the weekend with a 6-4-1-0 record.

The Greyhounds return to action on Wednesday night in Sudbury against the Wolves before returning home for a pair of games next weekend, beginning on Friday night against the Kingston Frontenacs.

In other action around the OHL on Sunday afternoon, Sean Durzi had the overtime winner as the Owen Sound Attack beat the London Knights 4-3 in London. Owen Sound goaltender Zack Bowman made 35 saves.

In North Bay, Marian Studenic scored the game-winner with 40 seconds to go in the third period to give the Hamilton Bulldogs a 4-3 win over the North Bay Battalion. Brandon Saigeon had a goal and two assists for Hamilton while Justin Brazeau scored a pair of goals for North Bay.

In Windsor, Anthony Salinitri’s goal at 6:09 of the third period was the eventual game-winner as the Sarnia Sting beat the Windsor Spitfires 3-2. Brady Hinz chipped in with two goals and an assist for the Sting. Windsor goaltender Michael DiPietro made 40 saves.

In Flint, Connor Bunnaman had two goals and an assist as the Kitchener Rangers beat the Flint Firebirds 5-3. Maurizio Colella had a pair of goals for Flint while Firebirds goaltender Luke Cavallin made 38 saves.

In Saginaw, Aidan Preuter’s power play goal at 17:36 of the third period was the game-winner as the Saginaw Spirit beat the Mississauga Steelheads 4-3. Caleb Everett and Marcus Crawford assisted on a pair of goals for Saginaw.

In Oshawa, Kenny Huether had a pair of goals as the Oshawa Generals beat the Sudbury Wolves 5-2.